Obama, Netanyahu Talk Up Israel’s ‘Right’ to Attack Iran

On Israel Visit, Obama Downplays 'Differences' on Iran

by Jason Ditz, March 20, 2013

On the first day of his visit to Israel, President Barack Obama spent time with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying largely the same things in slightly different ways with respect to a potential war with Iran.

Both agreed that Israel has a “right to self defense” that extends to unilaterally attacking Iran, with Netanyahu insisting that the “essence” of the state of Israel was its right to be masters of the Jewish people and to attack Iran in defense of that mastery.

As far as the prospect of not attacking Iran, both leaders conceded that there was some time remaining, with President Obama emphasizing that the time for diplomacy still exists and Netanyahu taking the angle, so often parroted by the US State Department, that the time is “running short.”

In the end President Obama insisted there was “not much difference” between Israel and the US with respect to starting a war with Iran, a scary prospect since even normally hawkish Israeli officials have expressed concern with Netanyahu’s eagerness to start a war with potentially global implications. The hope is that the lip-service about starting a war, something that both US and Israeli officials have expressed for decades, will be enough to satisfy the PM at the start of his latest term, and forestall any actual, real wars.

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